Local Little Leaguers lend a hand to 'Quiet Place' production

 Filming equipment stands at a baseball field in North Tonawanda for the sequel to "A Quiet Place." (James Neiss/staff photographer)

NORTH TONAWANDA — Filming for "A Quiet Place 2" has wrapped in North Tonawanda, and according to Bob Brennan, those who go to see the movie when it premieres next year may see a few familiar faces.

On Tuesday night, Brennan, president of Gratwick Hose Volunteer Fire Co., which served as a home base for the Paramount Pictures crew while they were in town, said that the studio found itself in need of some last-minute youth baseball players. Brennan said he reached out to Tom and Shannon Witt from the North Tonawanda National Little League, to make it happen.  

"We got together a good portion of the Little Leaguers that are in the film," Brennan said during Tuesday's meeting of the North Tonawanda Common Council. "So when you see the film, those are all North Tonawanda Little League participants who are on the field." 

The young athletes aren't the only faces that locals might recognize when "A Quiet Place 2" debuts in March 2020. While he didn't mention any names, Brennan said that a few local adults made their way into the scenes as well. 

Brennan said the film's director, John Krasinski, best known for his role has Jim Halpert in "The Office," told him after wrapping filming on Tuesday that he really enjoyed the city's small-town atmosphere. 

"He says he's filmed in a lot of locations, but he got ... a nice hometown feeling here in North Tonawanda," Brennan said.

He thanked the Gratwick Hose crew for their patience during filming, which took place between Saturday and Tuesday, and also residents who live near the filming site for cooperating with Paramount's request for privacy. He also commended the city's public works and parks departments for ensuring the filming site and the roads leading up to it were ready for Paramount's arrival. 

Local officials also thanked residents and city employees for helping the production go smoothly. Council President Eric Zadzilka said that, as the city strives to present itself as a destination, having a major motion picture film within the city would further that goal. 

"We have a lot of things going on in NT, it's a destination, a destination where they wanted to film a movie," Zadzilka said. "It's going to be bringing people to our area. We have a lot of good things going on and people want to see it." 

Alderman-at-Large Bob Pecoraro said studio representatives indicated to him that working in North Tonawanda was a positive experience. He also thanked the city's departments who were involved in the production as well as the residents for their cooperation while their neighborhoods were temporarily taken over by the production. 

"Paramount Pictures couldn't be more thrilled about doing the production in North Tonawanda," he said. "They raved about ... all the city services that were provided, the police, the department of public works, but also the residents and the participation and the understanding. We really have shown these people from all over the country that we get it right, here in North Tonawanda." 

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